Mapping the Discipline of History and Historical Consciousness

Mapping the Discipline of History and Historical Consciousness

In Historical Consciousness in the Modern Age by Mark T. Gilderhus and Mapping the Discipline of History by Ludmilla Jordonova, both authors write about how historical consciousness is shaped by individual and collective knowledge of the past, and the mental and cultural aspects that make up that knowledge. The authors also talk about the various ways historians throughout times have written their histories in different ways through different approaches. For example, Gilderhus writes that historians during the Enlightenment period were more successful condemning the past rather than “enlightening” their readers about it. Gilderhus later goes on to explain that during the 19th century history received recognition and achieved the level of an academic discipline which concentrated on three different types of historical writing. The first was a romantic and nationalistic approach which grew from the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. The second was writing history as a subject of abstract and philosophical thinking which was popular with German historians. The third type of writing centered around careful research based on credible evidence, and is the style most historians use today. When I read this I hadn’t realized that historians hadn’t always used the type of sources we use today for research. Jordonova also writes about historian’s methods and approaches. Similarly to Gilderhus, Jordonova argues that modern historians heavily rely on written evidence for their research as well as objects (artifacts) and images (AKA primary sources)

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